First things first – Crash the plane…

“Make everybody fall out of the plane first, THEN explain who they were and why they were in the plane to begin with. – Nancy Ann Dibble”

I’ve heard lots of different advice for writers.  Write constantly.  Don’t give up.  Read anything you can get your hands on.  Learn to re-write.  Check your spelling.  Etc. Etc.

But – the piece of advice I like the best is “Start with the action.”

I’ve read too many novels that start out with pages of descriptions and back stories and filler.  And although I sometimes enjoy reading about snow-capped mountain tops or modern glass buildings that reach into the sky, usually I just want to hear about the action. 

And to be honest, the action should be right at the beginning. 

For example – Harry Potter (by JK Rowling) didn’t start off with the entire back story of why Harry had a scar or who Voldermort was.  No. It started with Harry discovering he was a wizard and being asked to go to Hogwarts.  Exciting stuff.

I’m currently reading Hater by David Moody and within the first three pages, he has a normal business man attack a little old lady for no apparent reason. That is what I am looking for.  The action in that first chapter sucked me in.

However, my biggest pet peeve isn’t chapters and chapters of description but rather when a writer has fantastic action at the beginning of the story and it turns out to be a dream. What a rip off!  Does your story have a plot line?  Then start it already… give me something to grab onto.  I’m a fish looking to be caught.  Give me a flashy lure or a frog fighting for survival  (sorry…no more fishing analogies.  I promise.)

So – novelists of the world – I’m begging you.  Write some action into your first few pages.  It doesn’t have to be like Indiana Jones.  A woman discovering love letters to her mother from a man other than her father is just as exciting as a woman breaking into the White House for secret government files with gunshots and explosions in the background.

Start with the action.  I know I will. 🙂


About adriennebarr

I love books!
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